36 weeks - tarry here with me awhile

now i understand the expression "big as a house." i AM a house, for this little baby who rolls and shrugs and shimmies and shakes inside me!

at 36 weeks i am still feeling great. i feel lucky and joyous to be able to report that.
i love love love being pregnant. my sturdy legs feel so capable carrying me around. my round face and arms don't bother me because they are signs of nice supportive weight (translate: strength and energy) to help me birth and mother this child (my friend rebecca says it is healthier and more helpful all along to gain a little extra weight rather than restricted weight gain). the muscles in my back are holding strong, i sleep well and so cozy at night with my two fans and body pillow, and i get lots done all day long. i feel like this baby inside is giving me the best productive energy in the world and i am soaking it up like my bright california sunshine.

now people look at me differently.
"you must be so hot," they say...or "wow, you're really out there." (that one came from an older gent, it was kind of awkward)
"i bet you are READY!" 
but honestly, i haven't had that desperately-ready-to-get-this-baby-out-of-me miserable kind of feeling at all.
it's a little less than a month to my due date, july 13, which i know is just a number and can be fairly arbitrary, but i feel like it is just about right.

i can't believe how the time has flown. now it is june, perhaps my favorite month of the year, and our tiny garden is growing prettily in the sun, and our clothes hang on the line, and i put up my little pool and the grass is green. last year i wrote about hildegarde of bingen's idea of the greening life....i couldn't feel more in tune with that than now.

my secret to health, happiness, and a wonderful pregnancy? 
WATER. (have i said this before? i feel like a broken record)
it is my secret to life. i have my glass jar of ice water with me at every moment. hydration, hydration, hydration! it got me through my cold, it gets me through the night, it puts a skip in my step.

today it is going to be over 100 degrees here.
i woke up darin early (i get up early every day now! early for me that is, between 7-8 a.m...) and we went on a wild goose chase seeking garage sales. no major scores but it was kinda fun and we stopped for bagels on the way home.
yesterday i organized and cleaned out back patio and got it ready for outdoor life. 
i plan on being in the backyard with my new baby all summer long. there is a hammock and a picnic table and my pool; there are shady spots for morning coffee and sunny spots for sunbathing, and i put up new twinkly lights along the patio and plan to fill the brick planter boxes with herbs.

they say couples should spend the last month doing things you love that will be more difficult to do once the baby comes. we went to the movies the other night and we've been going out on dates and out to eat.
so my question is:
mamas out there, any recommendations on things we should do now that we won't be able to do for a while? 
i know everyone says your whole life changes with a newborn, and it is soooo hard, but could you be specific? what is the hardest thing? what is the priority? what do you wish you did more? 
i want to plan as well as possible for our early days together.

again, i am sorry if this feels like a "pregnancy" blog now, lately especially. i have to remind myself to talk about normal things even with darin, to watch a documentary or discuss his latest conspiracy theory ;) 
this baby and pregnancy experience are constantly forefront in my mind. 
i am deliriously happy with it all and i send tons of love and support out to other pregnant mamas right now!

dress: free from rebecca at a clothing exchange years ago
necklace: star card tarot made by darin
flip flops: thrifted
bump: handmade by darin and i :) (haha i'm such a cheeseball!)


your hair is freaking amazeballs. oh my lord. it was crazy gorgeous before but now it is like...out of this world. so beautiful! you look stunning and healthy and glowing and ripe as a peach. so glad you are enjoying yourself. pregnancy is so much fun when it's fun and so not when it's not. you never know who will get what kind. my first pregnancy was really hard but my second was easy. aren't the kicks amazing? i remember just being completely blown away and enthralled by the show my oldest put on when he got to that size. it feels even more miraculous that a real person is in there. two people in one body! trip out!! i went to 42 weeks with both my kids and the last two weeks were pretty horrible, because at that point you have a giant real baby that can happily live on the outside residing in there and it gets crowded. i hope your baby comes before it gets uncomfortable. as for the last question you asked about the newborn experience....wow. well, i would say the standards that everyone says: take long hot showers and enjoy the silence of no one crying outside the door because they want mama. lay down on your couch and watch lots and lots of movies in a reclining position because if you get a baby like my first you won't be allowed to sit down while you are holding them unless they are nursing. enjoy sleep. i have been lucky with both my kids and they sleep pretty well, but even the best sleeping baby will still throw your previous sleep schedule for a loop. when you go places, enjoy that you are not strapping a kid into a seat they hate and dragged diapers and extra clothes everywhere you go. enjoy the spontaneous feeling of being able to go and do whatever you want. having a baby is hard no matter how many times you do it, but that first baby changes everything. your life will be different, you will be different. and unfortunately no one who has experienced it can really convey it to anyone who hasn't yet. that level of life changing-ness is really hard to explain because literally every single they you ever did will change. it was hard. very hard and scary. and also super amazing and incredible. sometimes at the same time. having support is really what is clutch, and i know you have a lot of wonderful friends and family that are close by so you will do great. this is a BIG DEAL!!!! maiden, mother, crone. you are shifting from one self to another. i mourned the loss of my maiden, remember it's okay to feel that if you do. i know a lot of new moms get the heavy guilt of feeling that, and it's okay. anyway, i've rambled on quite enough. love ya!
hahaha and what will change is being able to type any damn thing with out your kid interrupting. it took me like 15 minutes to type that because my 2 year old was body slamming me and his brother was kicking him while he did that and i kept having to stop and separate them. sigh.
sanya said…
I don't have an answer to your question but I do feel that you have such great, supportive friends who love to do fun things together baby and all that you won't have any problem enjoying every moment as a mother just as you have. And can I just say that you are so freaking adorable! You might hear this often but pregnancy suits you well :) I hope I am as glowing, beautiful and positive when my time comes! Lots of love and thoughts your way, and I love reading you adventures in pregnancy!!
Heather said…
WOW the time is just flying by...I can't believe it is summer already...I love how you have grass...here more south we have dirt and sand in the yard oh and the occasional rock. I remember before we had each of our children my husband and I would go out for dinner just us and we would talk about and wonder how our lives would change and how the next time we would go out to dinner again our lives would be different. You look beautiful and healthy and glowing. Enjoy every minute it goes by so quickly my oldest will be 16 this year and my baby turns 11 in just a few weeks!! :O ~Be Blessed Love Heather
Zombie Lace said…
You look SO radiant! I am thrilled to read that your pregnancy is such a joy, and you look it too. I can't believe how lucky this little baby is to have such a sweet sunshiny mama who already loves her so so much. Can't wait to see the lil one's face ;)
Amy Beatty said…
heb!!! never has there been a cuter momma in the making! Everything about those photos is just breath taking. I love you!
dreadybetty said…
Cook your favorite foods and freeze them. I couldn't even think about cooking once baby was here but I sure could think about eating! Best wishes!
anne said…
looking gorgeous heather!

i agree with brigit, it's hard to put into words. plus i can't remember what it was like to not have kids. i think you and darin have done all the things i would suggest- traveling, road trips, being alone together... those are things i wish ruben and i could do. also, just being alone with yourself and your thoughts, that is a rarity for me. enjoy your last month of it. enjoy being able to talk on the phone or to someone in person with being interrupted. enjoy waking up in the morning and knowing you can do whatever you want. maybe that means laying there all day, who knows? basically enjoy your freedom. i'm not meaning this to sound depressing at all, is it? anyway maybe i should just stop typing now :D
Sadie Rose said…
ooh! i really like what bridgit said - mourning the loss of the maiden. so true, i think that is one of the most profound changes after the baby is born. in a similar vein, my sex life changed dramatically, something i hadn't really considered, and was notable for me, especially because i was so young. i was like, "ohhhh. so THIS is what my boobs and (other parts) are REALLY for." so that is something good to think about - remember from now on you will need to CREATE time for yourself, and for you and your man to be alone. as hard as it seems, always make sure you create that for yourselves!!

you look wonderful.
Jacqueline said…
At first the hardest thing for me was the lack of sleep. But that changes soon enough, once they start eating solids. The other thing was once baby was born it was kind of stressful having people visit. Next time I will request no visitors (with the exception of my mom & mother in law, etc.) for the first couple of weeks. I also enjoy cooking so not being able to do that for awhile was hard. But again, now that Alice is 9 months I can manage to make a decent dinner most nights. I would also suggest having close family & friends there for support...I would not have survived if my mom had not come over and brought me food, did dishes, and laundry almost every day. The last thing is that I really miss reading...like really getting into a book and reading for hours straight. Enjoy the last month--it will go by so fast! :)
Geny said…
You look beautiful and really are glowing!! I think you're doing things just right, going to the movies n such...we used to go out to get dessert in the evenings just for fun and that totally stopped when the baby was tiny. In fact it took a few weeks before I even left the house with my first one. You will be such a wonderful momma!!
Missa said…
Well, Anne pretty much summed up exactly what I was thinking. Yes, SAVOR YOUR ALONE TIME. Being alone with your own thoughts. It's something that seems like such a simple given part of life that you don't really anticipate losing that.

Not that you lose it altogether but it definitely changes, becomes more of a rarity, and like Sadie said, something to make time for.

As a new mom, even when you do get alone time, it will be different. There will be so many things you'll want to fit into that time: should I do something creative, relaxing, meditative, entertaining, practical? There's always a sense of urgency to make that time count, there is always an impending end to it. Enjoy having alone time that doesn't feel rushed!

Enjoy that productive feeling you're having now of being able to get so much stuff done!

Other than that, it sounds like you and Darin are living it up just as you should be and yeah, maybe throw in a little extra sex if you're still goin' strong ;) Haha! No, but really.

Heather, you look beautiful, you are going to be an amazing mom, and you're about as prepared as anyone can be, so rest assured. Some of it will be hard, but it will be so worth it. I'm so excited for you!
mmgood said…
Oh my goodness, I am cracking up over that last bit in Missa's comment, "Ha ha! No, but really".

I think the gal's have said it fully, and so I will just nod my head in agreement. Especially with Brigit's sage words around mourning the maiden.There's no way to prepare for the way in which your life will change, except to get in touch with a sense of inner resilience, a trust in life and in yourself, a handle on "one day at a time" and some kind of knack for being in the moment, cherishing and then letting go....both for yourself and what will shift for you, and also for your babe...for the ever shifting being that she will be. I will also add that as tricky as the transition can be to navigate, what you gain (right away, and then eventually) makes whatever is lost so worth it.

Maybe what I can add is... And whatever you want to talk to Darin about, do it now. Otherwise, hold your peace until the kid is 18. Having an uninterrupted conversation ( or thought ) is one thing I had no idea I would be missing. I'm being snarky, but I think what could be helpful is knowing who is on Team Baby. You've got family around which is AWESOME, so prep them for babysitting and hanging out to give you some space. I LOVE your backyard paradise for being with the babe. Sticking close to home is wonderful...and so key.

You are smokin and stunning in these photos. I remember the 8th-9th month, and the comments I got from folks, even though I had 4 weeks to go. I thought I couldn't get any bigger...and then I did...positively jupiterian. You are glowing sweetheart. Have you started nesting yet? Like cleaning the baseboards? :)

So much will change...but in a way you don't need to prepare. Motherhood is a steep learning curve, so the best advice I think is to find your personal ability to bend, flow, be resilient...and then get ready to RESPOND. You already find such beauty in life, I know you will easily find it in motherhood too. You're going to be amazing Heather, because you already are. xoxoxo
Tera said…
Awwwwwww loved reading this! I loathed it when someone would approach me with some cliche insinuating pregnancy in it's last weeks was such a burden. No way! I loved and treasured every possible moment , especially at the end. You look FANTASTIC and what was this about your arms? Your arms look great as do your legs!!!! You are a hot mama, I wish you all my best and patiently awaiting the news :)
Jen said…
You look amazing and I'm so happy for you. My baby is starting high school this fall, and your pics & posts are reminding me how excited I was before he was born. So sweet! No advice except for everything all the mamas here already said. You're going to love it. And sometimes hate it, maybe, but that's ok too.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
My gosh, you’re hefting a heap o’ child? You sure you didn’t fail to notice you were preggers for a few years? That child is gonna be born with political views, and voicing them. Kidding of course. You’re beautiful. Jim J;0)
Love this post. Love love love...
Mrs. Habit said…
so beautiful heather. pregnancy suits you well. I loved being pregnant too. it's such a brief, incredible phase you will cherish in memory forever.

I don't know - I agree with the other girls, and they're suggestions. I miss time alone, to hear my own thoughts too. And days where anything I wanted was possible. And lastly, I miss the movies. Movie dates were my favorite and these days, with 3 wild ones, date nights are few & far between.

Happy summer,
Hoodoo Voodoo said…
Heather, you will love every moment. I am not a mother, but I know you down to your soul. I know there will be times when you will perhaps be frustrated that you won't have all the time you are used to having, with your thoughts or what have you. But think of the thoughts you will share with your tiny girl. The telepathy you will share. It has already begun! The difference now will be the blessing of looking into eachother's big beautiful eyes. You will just stare and dream and give one another what you reach, and before you know it the day will be done. And, knowing you, there is no way you would rather have spent it. You will never miss not having her. You were born for her, and she for you.
And, duh, if you ever need a break for a movie date or even just a long hot shower, come deliver that bundle down the hall to us! We will be there every second for the three of you.
And remember! You will still get to have your long, therapeutic drives! Windows down, music filling the air, and your daughter all bundled up in her seat. You get to share everything now, in the best way.
Love you always,
Nicky said…
You beautiful Mama, you!!! I love hearing the happy reports of wellness and energy from you! You are seriously radiant! I've got a lil package storing up for you!

One of my best friends just had her baby a couple of weeks early. She had a home birth in a lil blow up pool in her living room. 1st baby, she took it like a champ and allowed me to coach her along with her sweet husband! It was AWESOME!!!!

I'm so super excited for you and can't wait to see her precious face! (ps, nice work on the tons of water!!!)
much love!
dolly anna said…
ditto on the water...you are so smart, and i am so glad that you're not feeling "overly" pregnant. i wish i knew what to contribute as advice. i try to think about what i would do in my last days of child-free-ness. i would write. and paint. and go on pretty little walks alone in the woods (emphasis on ALONE.)yes, you can do all of these things with children, it's just easier on your own. :) you will get sleep, so don't fret too much. link and i sleep like logs (haha) i think mostly because we bed-share. you and darin will still be together, still reading poetry to each other, still snuggling, still watching movies... sending blessings to you and your baby, heaping with grace. xoxo
Celynne said…
Somehow I think you are going to be juuuust fine in terms of adapting to a baby. You and Darin have had so many wonderful years as a duo, so it's not like you're spring chicken newlyweds with decades worth of plans to be interrupted by a baby just two or three years into things. My friend's due date was yesterday so she's going to have her wee one any day now, I'm so excited. I never imagined I'd be excited about babies haha. I have to echo everyone's thoughts on how gorgeous you look, and how happy. :)
Milla said…
Man, I'm so stoked to read all about it. Your "pregnancy" blog is awesome dearest. There's been so much lovely personal experience cataloged here, it seems that every pregnant lady should blog about it, and of course it translates beyond your own sweet self (and these kick-ass commentators). Hail Heather's Pregnancy Compendium! You better put it under one heading some day when you get a break from all the adoring and breast feeding.

Love you sweet girl!

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